Last week, Ryan and I met up with 15 readers and friends at Lola Bar y Tapas in Laureles.
This small tapas place is cutely decorated. I’d never been before, nor had Ryan, but my homework on TripAdvisor spoke of an upstairs loft which is a fun place to hang out earlier in the week, as it can fill up quickly on the weekends.
I attempted to make a reservation by phone earlier that day, but couldn’t get through. Arriving early, I warned the hostess/waitress and chef we were expecting about 10 people to arrive soon.
The fact that there were only two staff spoke to the size of the operation. And unfortunately, we’d soon overwhelm them.
The entrance features a couch and some chairs, offering a cozy feel. The main floor is dedicated mostly to the kitchen, thus it almost begs you to take a table in the loft if the upholstered chairs at the front are already taken.
Upstairs, there are a few more couches around a coffee table, and three or four tables. The decor is very colorful, with painted walls, and original artwork for sale.
As Ryan, my new roommate Dan, the two Brian’s (I’d previously met at Pergamino Cafe) and others arrived, we began to fill up the loft.
Eventually, once a Colombian couple left, we put the tables together and ordered some drinks.
One Brian and Dan started with a pitcher of sangria (44,000 pesos or $23), but I’d already ordered a Spanish beer. Later, after their second or third pitcher, I’d enjoy a few glasses too.
The menu itself features a variety of standard tapas, like Tortilla Espanola (8,000 pesos or $4), potatoes, chorizo, mussels, octopus, and coconut shrimp.
The service was a bit slow, as they weren’t prepared for our group. Once I saw the size of the restaurant, it didn’t surprise me, but it became clear we’d need to pick larger venues going forward. We had double the turnout of our first meet-up a few weeks earlier.
Despite a few grumbling stomachs, the food began to arrive.
I kept it simple on purpose, with the tortilla which was served with four pieces of bread.
I didn’t get to taste the other dishes. I’d say the food received mixed reviews.
I was more focused on being a good host, and trying to spend time with everyone that came out, than evaluating the food.
I did enjoy the atmosphere of the loft, but I think it’d be better suited for a casual drink with a friend or date then a big gathering of friends.
They have a fan, but it still got a little warm once there were 15 people up there.
Last but not least, I was excited to reunite with my paisa friend Lily, who I hadn’t seen since leaving Medellin in 2011, I believe. It could even be 2010, which is even crazier. She was joined by her friend Shirlena, and Shirelena’s coworker in town for business from Bogota.
While working a full time job, Lily is passionately pursuing her own accessories business, called Dulce Encanto. Aside from the attractive website she’s put together, I was also glad to hear all their products are handmade in Colombia.
Overall, I think everyone had a fun night out, and I’m doubly excited for our third meet-up, which was just announced. RSVP here!